As I had mentioned before, Modern Banquets had started off pretty rough. My group of four lacked one member due to family issues and we were not synergizing well as a team at all. It was very frustrating and I feel that I was just as much to blame as my team. Yesterday was the first day we were done on time with few mistakes. The only upsetting thing is that it took us nearly one week to get our act together. The following is a run down of how class has gone so far:
Day 1: We, of course, had that rice issue. The recipe we were given for pilaf was incorrect. I wont get to hung up on it but the real ratio is 1 part rice to 1.5 parts cooking liquid. Our scaled recipe was 15 cups rice to 18.5 cups of water. On top of that it took our team nearly 2 hours to peel carrots. A task that should have taken no more than 20 minutes tops. Chef was disappointed as was I. As a result, I’m certain our grade suffered because of it.
Day 2: The improvement we made over night was phenomenal. We had our carrots peeled on time. We actually had all of our prep work for service complete ahead of schedule and we made very few errors. The rice came out perfect and was even better seasoned then the day before. One thing that was outside of my control was that we cooked less rice then we needed. My team neglected to inform me that we did not have enough rice for service and just went ahead and cooked about half of what we needed. Chef came by and asked why we didn’t have enough. Because we work as a team I was just as responsible for the mistake as everyone in my group. The school really highlights the importance of team communication. Everything tasted good and the only real mistake we had was on my part. I had forgotten to score the cores of the bok choi before we blanched them off but they still came out quite good. They were also washed much better and had no sand left in them.
Day 3: It started off pretty good but we had a handful of errors. We did not have our equipment for potatoes properly setup and Chef called us on it. On the other hand, the broccoli rabe came out well. It was seasoned well and I believe it came out quite good. Because of our lack of preparation on potatoes, it took us about double the time it should have. The consistency of the potatoes suffered as a result. There was still noticeable team improvement from day 1.
Day 4 (Yesterday): Wow. Potatoes took 17 minutes and actually gave us the first compliment I have heard to our group. He said he would have like to have seen 15 minutes instead of 17 but I am very pleased that we got it done in such a timely manner. Broccoli rabe came out great. We had to clean and cut collard greens and that went quite smoothly as well. I did forget half of one case but the class pitched in to help and it took us no time. I am very proud of myself and my team for the level of improvement that we showed over 4 days.